‘Master plan to stop river pollution underway’

DHAKA, Feb 2, 2017 (BSS) - The government is going to prepare a master plan for preventing pollution and improving navigation of rivers in and around the capital and the Karnaphuli River in the port city.

LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Khondokar Mosharaf Hossain, who is the chairman of a high-powered committee formed earlier for preventing river pollution and improving navigability, said this while presiding over the committee's first meeting at the Local Government Department here today.

The minister asked the organizations concerned for making coordinated efforts to take effective steps for preventing pollution and improving navigation of the rivers surrounding the Dhaka city and the Karnaphuli in Chittagong.

Co-chairmen of the committee Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan and Water Resources Minister Anisul Islam Mahmood, its members Dhaka North City Mayor M Annisul Haq, Dhaka South City Mayor Sayeed Khokan, Chief Of Naval Staff Admiral M Nizamuddin Ahmed, Chittagong City Corporation Mayor AJM Nasir Hossain, LGRD secretary Abdul Maleq, Director General (administration) of Prime Minister Office Kabir Bin Anwar, secretaries of concerned ministries were present.

The LGRD minister said that all the rivers in and around the capital city have fallen victim to extreme pollution from the dumping of both industrial and municipal waste. River pollution must be stopped to make Dhaka a clean city, he said.

At present, Mosharaf said, at least 80 per cent water is collected from underground water sources while only the 20 per cent water from surface water sources.

He said the government has already taken a Taka 300 crore project across the country for digging 3,000 ponds for providing surface water to the people by reducing dependency on underground water.

Shahjahan Khan said the committee, in line with the prime minister's directive, would bring normalcy in the water flow of the Karnafuli River and the rivers in and around Dhaka by making a suitable and effective master plan.

The second meeting of the high-powered committee will be held on March 2.

The meeting also decided to involve mayors of Gazipur City Corporation and Naryanganj City Corporation and mayors and councilors of municipalities around the river banks to make the master plan a success.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)